Le Cirque de Utah. 58th edition.
Not much to speak of on day one. A lot of wrap ups and previews and tea leaf reading, with the general consensus being that 1) we have money troubles, and 2) we should stop the legislature from yanking the rug out from under every government service in order to save face (read: raise fees, not taxes!).
Gehrke pens one of my favorite previews:
While ethics issues sizzle, Utah's budget crisis has simmered all year, as the state's economy staggers to regain its footing and tax revenues continue to slump. Nearly $1 billion has been cut from the budget in the past two years, and as lawmakers convene Monday they again find themselves with a new gap of about $920 million. Nearly half of that is the result of expiring federal stimulus money that was used to balance last year's budget.Damn that federal spending... why isn't their more of it (to hate sooooo much!)?
Carl Wimmer will be contributing his traditional bit of lunacy, of course (would it be a legislative session without it?). Chris Buttars has already picked a fight with his own mouth, just a few hours in. Waddoups wants kudos for a balanced budget while you dumpster dive for education and food. I don't even know what No. Ogden's Sen. Allen Christensen has been smoking, but he hates him some wildlife.
But there's life still. Cantrell and Crew @ The Senate Site are already running strong with online access to the festivities. Curtis @ BIRZ has been running through the most prominent "bills to watch" here.
We're going to try to focus more on what happens each day here than we have traditionally (partly because I'm sick of talking about health care... for now... and partly because what happens in this session could effect Utah's economic landscape for years to come), but for today, there's not much to recap but what's already been recapped. So here's a list of what we've been reading, in warm up:
- Trib: Welcome to our newest member: Sen. Stevenson.
- DNews: GOP Lawmakers formulate their own ethics reform package.
- Herald: Herbert the man at the helm. (I know, gives me goosebumps too. We can fix that)
- Utah Legislature Watch: Tools for Readers.
- Le.utah.gov: Weekly Schedules. (Also: Citizen's Guide FAQ and How to get involved.)
- And must reads, daily: Warchol and Pyrah.